Month: March 2013

Will McAvoy Handle

Why the Will McAvoy Twitter Handle is Awesome

If you’ve never watched an episode of The Newsroom, you should. If your ideals are more progressive, you’ll find it affirming and inspiring. Even if they’re not, the issues raised in the story will make you think. Even if you don’t want to think, the cast is stellar and Aaron Sorkin’s writing is hard to hate. Just do yourself a favor, and give it a couple episodes.

But regardless, you should follow Will McAvoy on Twitter. In the show, Will McAvoy is the main character – a media stalwart who “goes off the reservation” by refusing to play it safe in his reporting at the encouragement of an old love and colleague. On Twitter, he’s a damn force of nature. He nearly religiously engages in debates with the Twitterverse on important political and social issues, blending snark, facts and argument in a seamless tapestry of awesome. His patience with those who never really wanted to engage to begin with is monumental.

I’ll just point out one example, so you’ve got an idea of what I’m talking about:

Will McAvoy Twitter Debate

Click to enlarge.

So what? You might say. So he picks a fight with a few trolls on Twitter. What does it matter?

That might be a fair observation. Frankly, if you follow him, and you really pay attention to some of the exchanges taking place, it’s hard to deny that the odds of him convincing his sparring partners that they are even 1% incorrect are probably slim to none. But that’s not why the debates are important. What’s important is how he impacts spectators: skeptics and advocates alike.

Maybe he can’t change the minds of those who are set in their ways, but there are others following him, his followers, and his debate partners that are probably not as set in their ways. When McAvoy engages in the debates in a reasonable manner that is measured and respectful (most of the time – when he snaps, it’s with good reason), he DOES have the chance to influence the beliefs of those watching the debate unfold. That doesn’t mean he changes their minds necessarily, and he doesn’t need to do so. All he needs to do is make them start asking questions. Change is a slow process, but conversations like the ones McAvoy participates in can serve as a catalyst in moving that process forward.

He also presents an excellent model of engagement for advocates on the issues. When you’re passionate about something, it can become all consuming. It gets difficult to engage with people who may seem irrational or who refuse to participate in the conversation to a productive end. But it’s important to have those conversations anywayWhen you engage rationally and respectfully (again, where merited), you have a better chance of having your message heard, both by the intended recipient and those watching on the sidelines. McAvoy is uniquely skilled in this capacity, and we could all do with taking a page out of his playbook.

It’s sort of unsettling to have such admiration for a fictional character in social media. But fiction, at its best, pushes us to be more than we are. To this end, bravo, Mr. McAvoy. Bravo.

How to Talk to a Skeptic About Rape Culture

TRIGGER WARNING:

The following includes discussions that may serve as a trigger for victims of sexual violence.
Please be advised. 

I’ve gotten a lot of questions recently about how to talk to someone about rape culture. They fear rejection or attack or any other number of outcomes, but mostly the questioners fear not being understood. I get that. More than most, probably.

But the conversations are important ones to have, so I wanted to come up with a better answer than, “Try.” For a while, I just sent people over to the comment thread on the initial rape culture post. After all, there were some pretty awesome conversations taking place there. Now, however, that the comment thread is over 1,000 posts long, that can be a daunting challenge. I still encourage it, but thought it might be helpful for something a little shorter… even if not by much.

So I sifted through all the comments again, and tried to imagine what it would look like if they wound up smashed into one conversation. This is what I came up with. Hope it’s helpful…

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Look, I get it, rape is bad. Everyone knows that. What are you trying to accomplish?

You’re missing the point. It’s not just about rape.

Fine – sexual violence is bad. Better?

Yes. You’re still missing the point.

What’s the point then?

When we talk about rape, we’re talking about crimes. We’re talking about individual instances of sexual violence with a specific set of circumstances and consequences. We can talk about rape in the abstract as well – looking at data for pointers – but rape culture is something very different. When we discuss rape culture, we look at experiences, interactions and perceptions. It’s probably best defined as a set of socially accepted beliefs, behaviors, and attitudes which contribute to the trivialization of a survivor’s experience, make light of sexually violent behavior, and perpetuate the negative effects suffered by both individuals and communities as a result.

That still sounds pretty abstract.

It is. That’s why lots of people spend lots of time highlighting the ways that rape culture shows up in society. It’s about giving voice to thoughts like, “Why do we ask a female rape victim what she was wearing? Why do we assume male victims ‘wanted’ it? Why do we think it’s a good idea to respond to victim narratives with comments on what they woulda shoulda done to prevent it, instead of allowing them to grieve and process?”

But that sounds like you’re saying we shouldn’t investigate rape cases – just take ’em on faith. We have a legal system predicated on being innocent until proven guilty for a reason.

You’re absolutely right. That’s the way it should be. The problem is that, uniquely in cases of sexual violence, the investigation can take on a very accusatory tone. The problem is that only 9% of cases ever see charges brought up. Only 3% of the accused will ever serve a day in jail. There are reasons for this, of course; it’s not as though 97% of the 33% of victims that actually report are ALL lying. And the reasons can vary. Lack of physical evidence because the victim took a shower. A victim too traumatized too proceed with the case. Concerns about victim likability in front of a jury. No one is saying we should not investigate rape allegations. We’re just saying that there are problems with the way we handle those investigations, and even bigger problems with how we, as a society, respond to the issue.

Speaking of lying, what about false alleg….

I’m going to stop you right there. I wrote a post on this last week, but there are some issues with the false allegation line of thinking being inserted into conversations about rape culture. For starters, it’s almost always a distraction from the topic. Someone will talk about an element of rape culture, and the response is, “But what about….”

What about it? Yes, false allegations happen. No, they do not happen with the frequency that poorly executed studies on corrupted data pools would have you believe. And it’s deplorable when it does happen; false accusations can ruin lives, and ultimately trivializes the experiences of individuals who have been victimized. But to argue that it happens a substantial amount of the time is factually inaccurate, and contributes to shaming victims into silence for fear of disbelief. And that’s not ok.

I mean, I just feel like, whenever people bring up rape culture, you’re saying all men are rapists. What about the male victims?

Not all men are rapists. Men can be raped. Women can be rapists. It’s never ok, no matter who’s doing it or who the victim is. Again, we have to remember that discussions about rape culture are not necessarily specific to the frequency of occurrence in sexually violent crimes. They are inextricably related, yes, but rape culture is a little different.

It’s not just about the men thing, though. For starters, not all athletes are rapists, ya know?

You’re right. Not all athletes are rapists. Not all athletic communities encourage, condone or tolerate sexually violent behavior. That’s not the point. There is data which suggests that athletic communities, in the aggregate, display more acceptance of sexually violent behavior. Studies have consistently found that while athletes make up a small percentage of the collegiate population  they are frequently responsible for a statistically disproportionate amount of sexual violence on campuses. Again, not all athletes are rapists. Not all athletic communities encourage, condone or tolerate sexually violent behavior. That does not, however, preclude having a measured conversation about why we see these statistics… which brings us back to the subject of rape culture in general.

I’m assuming you’ll say something similar about prisons and the military…

Yep. Both are arenas where we see sexual violence at disproportionately high rates, and responsible leadership’s handling of the frequency is deplorable.

Fine. But I don’t like rape. I don’t joke about it. I would never rape anyone. Why am I somehow part of this “rape culture”?

I have no doubt that you are a wonderful human being. I also have no doubt that you are culpable in terms of perpetuating rape culture. Was it done with intention? Probably not. Does that mean we don’t need to have this conversation? Also untrue.

It’s difficult to talk about rape culture sometimes because people get offended. They take it as a personal attack on them for laughing at an uncouth joke (or at least, not openly condemning it). And when we look at the effects generated by rape culture… it’s a lot. No one wants to feel personally responsible for that.

It’s important to remember that this is not about you, the person. It’s not an attack. It’s a call for critical self-reflection on our choices and language.

But some of these examples you’ve cited… the pizza box? Really? It’s just an ad. Don’t you think that by pointing out these trivial examples you’re undermining your own argument?

The pizza box from the original post is actually a perfect example. For those unfamiliar, here it is again:

dominos

Dominos embraced an advertising campaign around the phrase, “No is the new yes.” It was part of the push around their artisan pizzas – they’d say no to you switching toppings in and out, because they believed their combinations were that good. I don’t have a problem with pizza. I don’t think Dominos intended to offend anyone. The problem is that their catchphrase played off of the single most repeated phrase in education on sexual violence: no means no.

I’m somewhat sympathetic to arguments about why that wasn’t the intention, but rape culture really isn’t about intention. It’s about perceptions and consequences. It’s a part of what makes this conversation difficult. Do I think some marketing exec stood up in a meeting and said, “Let’s make sexual violence survivors feel uncomfortable because rape is funny”? No. Do I think they’re horrible, terrible people without souls? Of course not. That being said, if given the chance, would I inform them of why the marketing decision was insensitive (and ultimately poor strategy)? You bet.

And THAT is why rape culture is tough. It’s not about bad people; it’s about bad choices. And those bad choices sometimes seem so insignificant, but that’s where it begins.

I still don’t know if I get it. Like, Daniel Tosh, for instance. He made a joke. He’s a comedian. You’re going to take away his freedom of speech?

Oh, hell no.  I don’t want freedom of speech taken away from ANYONE because that means one day I might not have it… and I like talking too much. Daniel Tosh, Dominos, You, Me… we all have freedom of speech. What we DON’T have is freedom FROM CRITICISM of said speech. And criticism of speech that contributes to rape culture is the only way we get somewhere with all this.

But why does it even matter? So we crack a few jokes – that doesn’t mean someone gets attacked because I laugh. 

You are correct: it is not a perfectly direct correlation. But it’s a correlation nonetheless.

It’s about things that seem innocuous if you don’t put any thought into it, but those little things add up. It starts with comments about sex and worth. Maybe it’s a snide comment about the way a classmate dresses, or gossiping about that one girl who puts out for “everyone.” Maybe it’s laughing when someone cracks a joke about how many STDs so-and-so must have.

When we start to evaluate human worth on the basis of sex like that, it gets easier and easier to judge… in different ways. And when you hear a story about a teenage girl in Ohio who was violated by her classmates after getting drunk, you say things like, “Well, she shouldn’t have been drinking…”

And then suddenly we’re talking about false rape allegation rates like they’re actually at 50%. And then suddenly we’re talking about not letting rape victims have access to emergency contraceptives because our experience – not at all related to theirs – somehow matters so much more. And then suddenly you’re not so sure if spousal rape is even possible, or if statutory rape should even be called rape at all…

Maybe it gets that far. Maybe it doesn’t. But by participating at some point in the process, you enable someone else who will get that far. It’s a numbers game, and no one wins.

Because as much as we like to think that NO ONE believes rape is good, there are still those who “excuse” it under certain circumstances. They think it’s ok if she’s too wasted to really consent because it’s their girlfriend. Or they figure she won’t remember tomorrow anyway, so why not? Or they develop some Madonna-Whore complex that makes them think it’s ok to forcibly feel up a stripper because – hey, she’s a stripper. Or they think they only really need permission if it’s their penis in question, but everything else is fair game. Or maybe – just maybe – their crimes wind up more clear cut and startling than that.

And in the meantime, there are victims watching and listening. And those slut comments make them wonder if THEY were asking for it because they’re a human being with a pulse and sexual impulses. And those jokes make them feel shame and fear. And those comments about victims you don’t know make them think no one will believe them, either. And when they don’t come forward, they don’t get help, and they struggle under the weight of their trauma alone. And when they don’t come forward, and their attacker goes free, statistics show they’re likely to rape again. And NONE of this is good for ANYONE.

When one in five women and 1.4% of men are raped in their lifetime (and the male stats are probably a little low), it’s a problem. Most people don’t think about it that way. That’s why this conversation matters.

Alright, that sucks. I get that. But why is the conversation so important with rape? Couldn’t we say we have a culture that promotes violence? Or bigotry? Do we live in a “murder culture”?

You’re right. There are a lot of problems in the world. Many of these issues are interrelated (see: intersectionality for some awesome reading and perspective). It could be argued that they all stem from the same thing: our insistence on constructing and defending artificial hierarchies of human worth.

That’s a lot of bad things happening, right? But that doesn’t mean we have to talk about all of them at once. In fact, there’s something to be said for breaking down issues into “bite-size” pieces. That doesn’t mean rape culture is a small problem (by any means), but it’s certainly smaller and more focused than trying to talk about all inequality and evil in one breath. That’s an important part of developing specific solutions, as well.

Are there really solutions here? Rape and violence have been happening forever. The way you describe it, rape culture has been around forever. What are we supposed to do about it?

Well, you can start by rejecting the premise that there’s nothing we can do about it. That assumes that sexual violence is natural, and if you think about it, there’s nothing more insulting. It insinuates that people are incapable of ethical determination, and it further trivializes the experience of a victim as “inevitable.”

What can we do about it? THIS. Talking, discourse, conversation, advocacy. Cultural problems must be addressed on an individual basis with attempts at changing hearts and minds through education and reflection. Is it hard? Yes. Is it important? Hell yes.

What would have happened if Susan B. Anthony had decided she couldn’t take the hatred being slung her way in the quest for women’s suffrage? Where would we be in Martin Luther King Jr. had given up in that Birmingham cell? Perhaps more appropriately – would we have seen progress beyond policy placements (if we had gotten there) without the measured, strong, clear voices of people standing up to say something was wrong? Once upon a time, it was socially acceptable to joke about beating a man because of the color of his skin. Today, jokes like that land you in social Siberia (for the most part – racism isn’t dead).

Why? Because people took a stand for what was right. When we talk about rape culture, that’s what we’re asking – do the right thing. Don’t stand for the rape jokes. Don’t support companies who think rape depiction is a solid marketing idea. Don’t make excuses for the perpetrators. Educate yourself, and educate others.

And be brave. Because these conversations suck.

Photo Source: The Nation

Photo Source: The Nation

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P.S. Several of you have asked if I’m ever going to write about anything other than rape culture ever again. The answer is yes. And soon. And a lot. And perhaps not at one in the morning. But sometimes, the moment is too important to take your eye off the ball. Much love. 

In Defense of Active Moderation

I LOVE how much engagement we’re seeing on the topic of rape culture. I LOVE IT. I don’t love that it’s necessary, of course, but I am so encouraged by how many people have been willing to critically reflect on rape culture and our role in it. Keep rocking out.

However, since I posted an explanation for why I would not be approving comments related to false rape allegations, there have been a slew of comments regarding bias and manipulation of discourse. It became clear that, somewhere along the way, I had failed to make clear what my intention is here.

If you’re one of the folks who made such a comment, and has not seen it published, it’s because this is to be your response. Hopefully the exchange sheds some light on why things are being done the way they are.

Christopher     March 23, 2013 at 2:45 am 

After getting an idea of the kinds of posts you have chosen to allow and the ones you’ve “banned,” it seems there is a definite conflict of interest here, all of which existing in you and your approach.

It seems possible the attempt being made with this post was to draw attention to an issue about which you have strong feelings … especially given the strong wording in the text.

Unfortunately when you decide to be so selective by picking and choosing what comments to post and which ones to dismiss, you’re left with what amounts to the proverbial “choir,” with you as preacher.

If you’re attempting to expose a problem you feel isn’t getting enough of it, however, and are truly attempting to make a difference, you need to confront and engage anyone and everyone in whom you CAN make a difference. In other words, you can’t be a very effective voice against a war if all your speeches and quasi-townhall discussions are attended by anti-war people because those in favor of it have been denied access.

Your passion and determination are admirable; unfortunately your approach and effectiveness is lacking. Like others whose words you have “moderated,” which I imagine are those of individuals you seem to be trying to reach, I have neither the intent nor the desire to return to this page. And I will do so thinking I just encountered yet another angry feminist screaming too loud — and too selectively — to bother listening to.

Lauren Nelson     March 23, 2013 

Christopher,

I understand your frustration, because the process has been frustrating on my end, as well. I’m all for open and free discussion of important topics. A respectful exchange of ideas can foster greater understanding of complex ideas, and cause us to examine our own beliefs.

And as it turns out, my experiences since this post went live have made me examine my own beliefs.

I think context is important for this response. This blog has, since inception, been a place for me to give voice to topics I found important. It was not an endeavor with a specific goal. I had a full-time job, and a four year old daughter, family and friends to keep up with, consulting work on the side… consistent posting was not an option. But I enjoy research and writing and lively discussion, so having a platform to that end when necessary was a good thing.

When I initially wrote this post, it was the product of frustration. I was sick over Steubenville. I was nauseated by some of the comments I had seen from people I had otherwise respected. It seemed as though people were not seeing the big picture, and that broke my heart. In many ways, I assumed I would write this post, and use it for reference next time someone thought elements of rape culture were not prevalent in our society.

I certainly never expected it to go viral.

It very quickly became clear that this post no longer had anything to do with me. It had to do with those who were reading and sharing and commenting. And something very special was happening – hearts and minds were changing, and people were driven to inspire change in others, with over 10k shares on Facebook and 2k shares on Twitter (rough numbers – WordPress data isn’t the most reliable). The past several days have been a blur of narratives. I cannot put into words how moved I have been by the courage of survivors who have reached out; some realizing, for the first time, that they had been victims. Others spoke to a sense of healing that came from seeing so many people stand up for the interests of survivors instead of doubting their suffering.

I’m not sure if you realize how rare that is. For a survivor to feel safe and secure and supported is not something one can, in good conscience, take for granted.

In the beginning, I censored nothing on the comment thread. However, as time went on and the traffic surge began to spike, the content of the comments began to shift. By and large, the comments were respectful, insightful and compassionate. Some, however, were not. What do I mean when I say that? Here are some of the comments in the trash right now:

– Did you know that DONGLES may be a THREAT to YOUR vagina?
– But I love rape.
– *Yawn*
– Dinking is allowed. Rape not!
– I’m tired of hearing about males raping…and killing…and raping…and killing…and raping…and killing…
– i lol’d

I deleted these posts because they were non-sensical or patently offensive or blatant trolling – all of which would have detracted from the very important conversation taking place. After a while, I stopped approving posts which posed critiques that had already been addressed… on at least a dozen other occasions. Part of this goes back to the fact that I’ve been moderating the thread while working and mothering and (if we’re being frank) dealing with a crisis in my community, so at times, the backlog of comments was above 200. The comment thread had begun to sprawl, and this was, in some ways, about keeping it functional. Had I not taken this step, there would have been times where you saw 10 comments in a row about not all athletes being rapists, with the same response to each about that not being what the posts says. That wouldn’t have furthered the conversation; it would have made the comment thread even more difficult to navigate.

The decision calculus changed again as more and more survivors began to share their stories. I won’t post excerpts of the responses I’ve deleted. In the few hours of sleep I’ve managed since all of this started, my nightmares have been peppered with their words. I really don’t understand the hate in people sometimes.

Some of the comments were, in a vacuum, merely questions. The problem came with context. In some stories, the survivors spoke of being doubted at every turn, with no one believing them, and the helplessness they felt. More and more frequently, a group of commenters began to (almost religiously) question these survivor accounts. For someone to relate the trauma of being called a liar after one of the most frightening experiences of their lives… only to be called a liar again… it seemed unconscionable to even think about allowing the comments through.

Even when the comments did not directly attack the survivor, they still seemed inappropriate. They were largely phrased as, “I respect your suffering, but-” … and the problem is that there shouldn’t be a “but” in that statement. A survivor should be able to tell their story – both as a form of catharsis and as an inspiration for other survivors – without having to defend themselves against a critique once more. It was a matter of sensitivity.

At this point, I think it’s important to pause for a minute to think about the psychological impact of sexual violence on a survivor. These are individuals who were violated – sometimes in a violent nature, and sometimes by people who they thought cared about them. For these survivors, the impacts last a lifetime. From PTSD to night terrors to issues with intimacy to panic attacks… the list goes on and on. For many of these individuals, finding themselves faced with serial doubters once more could be a triggering experience. I’m not sure if you’ve ever struggled with severe anxiety, PTSD, flashbacks, or depression, but it can be terrifying to have an episode triggered. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy. And I have been blessed enough to never be the victim of sexual violence, either; I cannot begin to fathom the depths of that pain.

So I drew a line in the sand. I prioritized the security of the survivors over the conjecture of observers. I will not apologize for that decision. Does that make for a lower level of quality in the discourse? I don’t think so. The topic here is rape culture – the socially accepted beliefs, ideas and practices which trivialize the experience of the victim, make light of the crime, or rationalize the behavior of the perpetrators. The idea of a false accusation (however deplorable it may be – and I do believe false accusations to be heinous) does not trivialize the experience of a true victim of sexual violence. It does not cast sexual violence into the framework of entertainment or humor. It does not rationalize or justify any acts of sexual violence. While the topic may merit discussion, it technically isn’t salient to the SPECIFIC topic of the post. This, combined with the potential for intimidation or revictimization, was the foundation of my decision.

Since that decision was made, my approach to moderating comments has been to ask a series of questions focused on a singular idea: What does this do to the conversation?

Does it derail it onto an unrelated topic? Is it a direct attack or dismissal of a survivor? If not, does it have the potential to make survivors feel dismissed or attacked? If so, what is the proximity of the comment to the narratives of the other survivors? If it is not in close proximity to a survivor’s story, is the argument sensitively phrased and supported with something other than conjecture? If it is conjecture, has the topic already been addressed elsewhere sufficiently?

Essentially, the goal was to foster focused, sensitive, and constructive dialogue. Note – not a single part of my criteria has anything to do with what whether or not a comment aligns with my opinions. There are PLENTY of comments on this thread, and throughout the blog, that make me want to scream. But I think it’s important to have our worldview challenged, which is why – if they are focused, sensitive, and constructive – they get published. I understand why you might be concerned about the execution of moderation; you can’t see the backend. Let me put it this way: of the roughly 1230 comments that have been submitted on posts throughout this blog, THERE ARE ONLY 126 IN THE TRASH. About half of these fell into the trolling/repeat category.

I think this also speaks to your concerns about whether this approach alienates the target audience. Both the relatively low frequency of rejection on the basis of comment content, and the numerous posts from commenters who are just now realizing the significance of the topic at hand, seem to undercut the worry. And that’s not considering my inbox, where I have been flooded with messages from people wanting to tell me that they “get it now.”

That doesn’t mean I haven’t struggled with rejecting some comments. This is particularly true of some of the commenters who shared their personal experience of being falsely accused. In those instances, I tried to reach out to thank them for their candor, and provide a specific reason for why their comment was excluded. I’m sure I’ve missed a few, and to those I’ve overlooked, I apologize from the bottom of my heart. I’m human, and I’m doing this by myself right now. I’m trying.

Now, I’m assuming the impetus for your comment, Christopher, is the fact that I had not yet approved your comment, submitted at 6:52 PM. The specific portion of your comment which resulted in rejection read as follows:

These days it is almost FASHIONABLE for a woman to claim she has a “stalker,” a term that is used far too easily and frequently in comparison to the amount of damage it can cause. It’s quite simple, really: Among the countless other possible scenarios, let’s say a woman in a relationship with a man decides to be unfaithful, and is then caught and confronted.

A rather large percentage of women in that position will not simply explain herself or admit her wrong-doing, and will instead simply leave the relationship. Anyone with an emotional investment in that relationship will not only want but DESERVE answers, and will seek them. Almost immediately, rather than provide an explanation, the woman will start acting frightened of a man she knows would never hurt a fly, and not wait long to label the man a “stalker.”

Why did this spur rejection? Let’s look at the questions I was asking to reach my conclusions-

Q: Does it derail it onto an unrelated topic?
A: Yes. Not a single part of this comment is related to rape culture. Further down, you attempt to pre-empt this concern, stating:

What does this have to do with “rape culture?” Simple: The whole rage of claiming “stalker” is a power women commonly exercise, damages the opposite (or occasionally same) sex, and is something in which the actual damage caused is neither understood nor considered. And if anyone doesn’t believe how prevalent it truly is, or how loosely and freely it’s slung around, just search twitter for #stalker.

The term “rape culture” in my mind is one way to lament the decreasing recognition of the seriousness of the crime. Meanwhile, I’d be stunned if the term “stalker” ever lost its potency and stigmatic power.

This statement in no way, shape, or form establishes a connection to rape culture (see definition above for reminder). It does not directly address a single point of the post itself. It is not in response to anyone’s comments. It is, simply put, a rant about stalker accusations. That’s all fine and well, but it isn’t salient to this conversation.

Q: Is it a direct attack or dismissal of a survivor?
A: No.

Q: If not, does it have the potential to make survivors feel dismissed or attacked?
A: Perhaps. It enters a conversation about suffering and says, “But look at me!” That could be interpreted as dismissive and disrespectful. At a minimum, it is a distraction from the goal of the thread, which is to better understand what rape culture is, how it impacts us, and how we can work to change it.

Q: If so, what is the proximity of the comment to the narratives of the other survivors?
A: While not directly next to a narrative, it would have posted close enough to one of the accounts – and one where the survivor had never openly discussed the matter before – to be of concern.

Q: If it is not in close proximity to a survivor’s story, is the argument sensitively phrased and supported with something other than conjecture?
A: Unfortunately, the comment was entirely based on conjecture. There was no data. There was no evidence. There were no warrants for why you believe false accusation of stalking to be a problem.

To be clear, I have no problem with you individually. And I don’t necessarily have a problem with the conversation you are trying to have. But for the reasons above, it is not a conversation to have here and now.

You have a right to your opinions. I’m sorry if you don’t approve of this moderation process, but it was my decision to make, and I stand by it. If after this explanation, you still believe I am nothing but “another angry feminist screaming too loud,” I’m not sure what to tell you, except I wish you luck on your journey.

Peace,

Lauren